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Saturday, July 11, 2020

Explained: What is Pliosaur?

Predatory reptiles ruled the seas millions of years ago. Now, pliosaur bones have been found in Poland

By: Express News Service | Updated: November 11, 2019 8:58:35 am
Predatory reptiles, sea monsters, what is Pliosaur Artist’s impression of pliosaurs by Piotr Szczepaniak. (Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Poland)

Over 150 million years ago, enormous reptiles swam the Jurassic oceans. The largest aquatic carnivorous reptiles that have ever lived, they are often dubbed “sea monsters”. Scientifically, they are placed in the suborder Pliosauroidea, whose members are called pliosaurs.

Interest in these giants has been revived with the recent discovery of their bones in a cornfield in the Polish village of Krzyzanowice. Remains of pliosaurs are rare in Europe.

“They measured over 10 metres in length and could weigh up to several dozen tons. They had powerful, large skulls and massive jaws with large, sharp teeth. Their limbs were in the form of fins. We found bones of these pliosaurs in the north of the Swietokrzyskie Mountains,” palaeontologist Dr Daniel Tyborowski said in a statement released by Poland’s Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

In the Jurassic era, the Swietokrzyskie Mountains area is believed to have been an archipelago of islands, where there were warm lagoons and shallow sea reservoirs, home to the marine reptiles discovered by the palaeontologists.

The locality where the remains were discovered is considered to be rich in the fossils of coastal reptiles. Researchers now hope to find more remains in the coming months.

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